2012 Pacific Rims – (It Used To Be a) Live Blog

Wow! That Pac Rims commercial had all my favorites: Aly Raisman, Shawn Johnson, AND Nastia Liukin. I can’t wait to see how they perform today!
It’s time for another NBC gymnastics experience. By all accounts, this competition was a bit of a mess last night, so I’m especially excited for the broadcast. Make a special note of how they handle the Gabby Douglas hype situation, whether they bother to show any other countries, and whether Tim claims that Russia barely sent a team because they were mad about Jordyn Wieber or because they don’t understand how “prestigious” this competition is. What are we going for today, “Most Important Biennial International Gymnastics Event Sometimes Held on American Soil”? Sounds good to me.
Here we go from 1:00 ET / 10:00 PT

“The Eyes of Martha Karolyi” will be the theme today.

It was nice of Al to pretend like the other countries sent viable teams.

Ohashi’s DTY is getting better. It’s a little less scary than it used to be in the landing. A little leg form at the end, but otherwise it’s fine.

Reports were right that Priessman is twisting SO MUCH onto the horse. Plus a stumble back.

“A fall is bad.” Emily Little has a fine but sluggish beam routine with a fall on a tuck full. She should consider doing NCAA.

“Some Japanese problems on the vault.” Nice that we’re seeing some highlights from the first session. Lee looked excellent on bars, then a bunch of mistakes from the rest of the crowd. Elfi has provided helpful clarification that PPL prefers Peng Peng instead of Christine. Good and good to know. Excellent beam routine from her as well. I really love watching her gymnastics. Her 1.5 to double arabian was great, as was Moors on the double double.

Our trio is effectively setting up Gabby’s vault disaster. Completely missed her hand and jammed her ankles on the landing – OUCH. They’re right that it could have been worse, but she was just completely off. Probably would have been better not trying to land this on her feet and just accepting the zero, but that’s a very difficult decision to make in mid-air.

Nice flexibility from Simpson on beam, but some mistakes. At least they didn’t pair Gabby’s disaster with Georgia’s on floor. Terrible dismount. This really is a mess of a competition so far.

Who exactly is calling Kyla Ross the X-Factor, Andrea? HA! Kyla didn’t look so bad on the Amanar except for the legs, but then she just continued running straight off the mat. It was almost like Anna Li at 20120 vault event finals. That was very poor in the landing, but at least it wasn’t dangerous. Jordyn is much stronger and performs what has become her usual Amanar.

Lauren Mitchell never looks that strong early in the season. This was a fine routine, except for her wonky tuck turn and a bad double tuck dismount. Everyone looks totally sloppy and off so far.

What would this competition look like if you were a non-fan who just happened to turn it on? You would be thinking, “Why are all these gymnasts so horrible at gymnastics?”

China is bad/unremarkable on vault.

Fine from Hundley on bars. One REALLY late pirouette (MLT will be displeased), but she improved at the end into the stuck dismount. Very strong on bars from Ohashi. Still some handstands that need to be worked on, but I expect this routine to get very good.

To any following: due to storms, I’ve lost my TV signal, so I can’t comment anymore. ARG. I may be back.

Well, this is a disaster on my end as well as theirs. Sorry. Maybe this is a sign that I should just stop with the elite. Yesterday it was the scores, today it’s the TV. I’ll see what I can see and post overall thoughts later.

And we’re alive again! That is, if anyone stuck around. We’re getting a look at our NZL juniors. There are some nice basics here, but of course almost no elite-level difficulty.

Back to the US for beam. Hundley was probably a bit stronger in training – a little less confident on some of her acro here. Kyla Ross has such excellent form on this event that it is easy to forgive some of those wobbles. I’d like to see her upgrade the double tuck dismount. She finishes it so easily that it’s a clear place to pick up some difficulty.

That really nice interview with Gabby Douglas (she’s more comfortable with interviews than people usually are when they’ve recently turned senior) precedes her major struggle on the beam, one that seems pretty clearly a result of that ankle issue from vault. Fortunately, it doesn’t really seem like a major or long-term injury, at least from what we can see here.

Ohashi was glorious. I approve of the downgrade on the dismount. The double pike works much better for her. She’s never looked more confident on her layout full. We can also see why Wieber got the high score that she did because she had very few errors. I still hate her handspring sandwich around the back full, but it was the best she has done it. (Still, should it actually get connection value? I say no, but my code exploitation resentment may be showing.)

Opinion is divided about Ohashi’s floor routine. I don’t hate it, but I don’t care for the music choice and I still think she has some maturing to do as a performer (which is expected for her age). Also, some of the moves are a little stock WOGA/Rebecca Bross. She has more potential as a mover/dancer and should not be subjected to that. She has the potential to be given a great floor routine down the line, but this isn’t it yet.

Lexie Priessman was pretty sloppy through her routine on several passes. I don’t know if I dislike this routine as much as I’m supposed to, but I definitely have some questions. Most of them regard that absolutely bizarre music change right before the last pass. What is happening? Priessman is having an OK but unremarkable competition. Nothing that will keep her on the forefront of 2013 conversations, especially given how many returners I think we will have from the 2011-2012 classes.

Great. Now I’m going to have Phantom stuck in my head all through the elite summer. Thanks, Kyla. This routine in unremarkable in terms of both choreography and tumbling. Tim is trying to pretend that this performance is what Kyla needs in order to peak for the summer, but I think she has set herself up as an attractive alternate but hasn’t made an Olympic case with any of her routines. 5.5 difficulty on floor doesn’t do it.

The only one who can really take a positive from this competition is Wieber, who can point to this to say that she really is the best AAer in the country and that the American Cup loss to Douglas was just a random thing instead of the rule. Douglas will not be pleased by the performance today, but it’s hardly the end of the world. After American Cup, she was the darling of the world, and now she will be the pariah. Obviously, the truth is somewhere in between. Her bars routine will keep her right toward the top of the Olympic competition, but she will still have to earn her spot this summer. Remember, she had a horrid Championships last year, and Martha still chose her for the World team, so a bad performance (especially one largely due to injury) will not somehow hurt her chances too drastically.

China ended up barely passing Canada for second because of quality on beam, so the US ended up winning by only 19 points instead of 20. I was so close! Australia finished fourth after a bars disaster.

Jordyn actually just used the words “it’s an honor to be nominated.” Haha, love it.

Oh NBC, how dare you give us an interview will adorable little New Zealand girls to erase my disaste with whatever nonsense you were just saying about Gabby Douglas having to find a way to get her confidence back. Am I the only one who thinks this weaker performance was not a big deal at all for Douglas? As long as her ankle is OK, we’ll forget about this in thirty seconds.